After learning about the sudden death of Neil Armstrong
While spending last weekend in New Jersey, we heard the news of Neil Armstrong dying from complications from heart surgery. That completely unnecessary death got me to thinking.
What if he’d had the chance to meet his fellow Ohio resident, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic? I have no doubt that in their very first meeting that Dr. Esselstyn would have told him this simple truth about our nation’s #1 killer:
Heart disease is a toothless paper tiger that need never exist; and if it does exist, it need never progress.
With a track record of reversing heart disease in over 95% of his patients, he would have also told him exactly how to get rid of that heart disease—within months, not years or decades. But Mr. Armstrong wasn’t so lucky. In the lengthy New York Times article about his passing, there was only one mention of the cause of death (See link below):
His family said in a statement that the cause was “complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.” He had undergone heart bypass surgery this month in Cincinnati, near where he lived. His recovery had been going well, according to those who spoke with him after the surgery, and his death came as a surprise to many close to him, including his fellow Apollo astronauts.
While the article provided no more information about his heart disease, maybe Mr. Armstrong had only recently learned about it and was simply following the very best conventional treatments on the planet—invasive heart surgery. It’s truly sad when America’s greatest heroes and even presidents are not ever told the simple truth that Dr. Esselstyn would have told them.
Bill Clinton was lucky. Although he too had complete access to the “best of the best” when it comes to conventional treatment, he chose to heed the advice of Esselstyn, Campbell and Ornish. Having read all of their books, he chose a heart disease-reversing, whole foods, plant-based diet and will likely be around for many more years.
With this on my mind, I wrote a letter from the train to my dear friend, in whose home I had been a house-guest over the weekend. An excerpt from that letter:
As one of my very best friends, I am curious why you’re not taking the message in our book seriously. While thinking about you this morning and remembering that Neil Armstrong died of complications from heart surgery while I was at your home, I decided to write you a note from the train.
You say that you’re feeling healthy all the time—and that’s great. But often the first symptom of heart disease is a heart attack, even if your cholesterol numbers are fairly good. Meanwhile, there are some people who’d rather die of heart disease than give up meat, seafood, dairy and eggs.
Maybe you’re one of those people. If so, that’s fine and I won’t hassle you about it. But if you died next week, I’d feel guilty that I hadn’t shared more with you.
I went on to explain that our book is all about the “big picture” of what we eat and how those choices impact our health, our environment and the long-term sustainability of the human race. After people learn about the “big picture,” different folks make dietary changes for different reasons.
Lately Dr. Campbell told me that he now believes that more people will move toward plant-based eating for environmental reasons than for health. I think he may be right. My letter continued:
Our book covers all of the “facts about food” that people should at least consider before deciding how they might wish to feed themselves and their family. While far less than half of my readers may adopt a full-blown 4Leaf diet like mine; a large majority will at least make a few changes—after reading the book. For example; our friend Tim basically just cut out dairy and lost about 25 pounds (from 157 to 132). He “gets it” and says everything in the book makes complete sense to him.
The Bottom Line. The problem is that the vast majority of the people in the western world are completely ignorant of the consequences of what we eat. They choose their food based on three criteria only: pleasure, cost and convenience (and a 4th—habit). So when should you help your good friends and family better understand the “big picture” about our food choices.
Delicately sharing unsolicited information with a friend is something that we all face from time to time. And every situation may warrant a different approach. It all depends on the relationship. For example, there are members of my own family who have no interest in hearing this information—so I will honor their wishes. Like Dr. Campbell says, I’m just trying to do the right thing and tell the truth—so I can sleep well at night.
- Source article. Neil Armstrong, First Man on Moon, Dies at 82 – NYTimes.com.
- An earlier blog on the same topic. Sharing life-saving information with a friend…
- An earlier blog. Clinton or Cheney? Which heart treatment do you prefer?
- An earlier blog (with video). Eliminating the #1 cause of death. Dr. William Roberts
- “The Last Heart Attack” on CNN (My review) + link to video
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Got a question? Let me hear from you at email@example.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation